Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sapphire, NEOSSat, CanX 3A & 3B Standing By...

 The Satish Dhawan Space Centre
After a multi-year hiatus, during which the only Canadian satellites that ever got off  the ground belonged to Cambridge based exactEarth Ltd., it looks like four new Canadian satellites will finally be launched in December 2012 aboard an Indian designed and built Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

But, according to the September 5th, 2012 article "Canadian Satellites Finally Set For Launch on Indian Rocket," the currently anticipated launch date is four full years behind schedule.

PSLV flight C20, currently scheduled for December 12th, 2012 at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR), will include the Department of National Defence (DND) Surveillance of Space (Sapphire) satellite, the largest Canadian component of the proposed Canadian Space Surveillance System (CSSS) plus the Near-Earth Object Surveillance Satellite (NEOSSat) and the CanX-3a and CanX-3b (BRIght Target Explorer or BRITE) micro-satellites, which were designed and built at the University of Toronto Institute of Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) Space Flight Laboratories (SFL).

The main payload for the launch is the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Satellite with ARgos and ALtiKa (SARAL), which is a cooperative altimetry technology mission between ISRO and the French Space Agency (CNES). Also scheduled for launch aboard PSLV flight C20 is the Max Valier micro-satellite and the AAUSAT3 cube satellite.

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